AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2022-02

eacher Loyalty Bill   This week was another packed week at the State House with the House Education Committee hearing almost forty bills. This week’s bills included HB 1255, Relative to Teachers Loyalty. The bill is frankly an insult to every hardworking teacher in this state. The sponsor of the bills spoke to teachers indoctrinating their students but was of course unable to provide any concrete examples of teachers doing that. The committee heard the bill but has yet to vote on it so there is still time to make your voice heard.

AFT-NH Testimony on Teacher Loyalty Bill (HB 1255)

My name is Debrah Howes. I am the president of the American Federation of Teachers – NH. AFT-NH represents 3,500 teachers, paraeducators and school support staff, public service employees, and higher education staff across New Hampshire.

I write to you in opposition to HB1255. This bill would outlaw advocating anything that “promotes a negative view of the founding or history of the United States.” Just like the Divisive Concepts law that our union is challenging in court, this bill is so vague that it would put teachers’ licenses and jobs at risk for teaching even the most basic facts about American history. Our members are dedicated to meeting students’ needs by engaging them in honest history lessons that teach them to think critically about information. It would be a disservice to our students to limit class materials or discussions to only the parts of our history that show our nation in a positive light.

AFT-NH Testimony on HB 1632 relative to civics education

Testimony on HB 1632 (relative to civics education)

From Debrah Howes

President AFT-NH To the NH House Education Committee

Dear Chairman Ladd and Members of the Committee,

My name is Debrah Howes. I am the president of the American Federation of Teachers – NH. AFT-NH represents 3,500 teachers, paraeducators and school support staff, public service employees, and higher education staff across New Hampshire.

I write to you in opposition to HB 1632 – not because we are opposed to the teaching about the Civil Rights Era, but because we are opposed to the packaging and teaching of the Civil Rights Era out of its proper context in the full sweep of United States history. AFT-NH firmly believes in providing all students a robust, engaging, and factual US history education so they can understand how our nation was formed and the changes it has undergone through the years, up to and including the present time.

AFT-NH on Teachers’ Loyalty Bill in NH House

ONCORD, N.H.—The “teachers’ loyalty” bill that will be the subject of New Hampshire House hearings this week is another attempt by extremist lawmakers to give students a censored view of history and bully teachers into silence, AFT-New Hampshire President Deb Howes said today.

“An Act Relative to Teachers’ Loyalty” would ban public school teachers from promoting any theory that depicts U.S. history or its founding in a negative light. It follows the so-called divisive concepts law that prohibits teachers from teaching that any group or person is “inherently racist, sexist or oppressive.” AFT-NH has filed a federal suit calling that law unconstitutionally vague.

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2022-01

Action Needed on HB 1255-Teacher Loyalty Bill

Local School Voucher Bill Tabled by NH House   We want to start with a big thank you to all who have reached out to their Representatives and asked them to vote against House Bill 607 as amended (local school voucher bill). Thanks to your efforts last week during the legislative session the House tabled the bill. While we must remain vigilant to make sure it is not brought up again, this was a big win for public education. We also want to thank the bi-partisan group of legislators who came together to stand up for public education and local property taxpayers—they stuck through long days to make this happen.

Teacher’s Loyalty Up Next   While it is great to celebrate the victory, unfortunately, we have to quickly move to the next challenges. This week the House Education Committee met and already began taking up bills that would limit local control and one bill that expands their divisive concepts law to public colleges and universities across New Hampshire. In a continuation of that theme next week, they will hold a hearing on their “teacher loyalty” bill.

Statements by AFT-NH and AFT on Tabling of Local Voucher Bill

Statements by AFT-NH and AFT on Tabling of Local Voucher Bill

CONCORD, N.H.—Statements by AFT-New Hampshire President Deb Howes and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the New Hampshire House of Representatives’ bipartisan tabling of a controversial local voucher bill:

AFT-NH President Deb Howes:

“AFT-NH commends the bipartisan legislators for coming together to protect public education and local property taxpayers. Public education is the bedrock of the Granite State, and students, school staff and taxpayers would have suffered if this misguided voucher bill had passed. New Hampshire lawmakers heard the voices of voters, who said that instead of another expensive voucher program, they want investment in their neighborhood public schools. We hope this stand for an equitable public education continues in the Legislature and bills like this never see the light of day again.”

AFT President Randi Weingarten:

“Every child in this country deserves a well-funded, safe, welcoming public school that helps them thrive academically, socially and emotionally. But voucher schemes take money away from our neighborhood public schools, and this one was particularly fiscally and educationally irresponsible. Today in New Hampshire, the voices of parents and community members were heard loud and clear: Don’t defund public education and raise property taxes for another voucher scheme. And the Legislature, in a bipartisan manner, listened, and we are grateful. As we continue to help our kids recover from the pandemic, New Hampshire should invest in public schools and focus on giving all kids a high-quality public education.”

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